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McKesson Q3 revenues up 37%

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson on Thursday reported that revenues for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014 totaled $47 billion, up 37% compared to $34.3 billion a year ago.
 
“I am pleased by the strong performance of our business for the first nine months of our fiscal year. We have raised our outlook for the year and now expect adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $10.80 to $10.95 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. McKesson’s third-quarter results reflect solid execution across our business,” said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO.
 
Distribution Solutions revenues were $46.3 billion, up 38% on a reported basis and 39% on a constant currency basis for the quarter, mainly driven by the contribution from McKesson's acquisition of Celesio and market growth.
 
North America pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues, which include results from U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson Canada and McKesson Specialty Health, were up 17% on a reported and constant currency basis for the quarter, reflecting market growth including growth from existing customers and continued demand for recently launched drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C.
 
International pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues were $7.3 billion, an increase of 7% on the underlying results of Celesio on a constant currency basis.
 
Medical-Surgical distribution and services revenues were up 7% for the quarter, driven by market growth.
 

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Liquidation team announced for Target Canada’s closing

BY Mike Troy

It’s the end of an era that never really began for Target Canada as three of the biggest names in the asset disposition world begin store closing sales at Target’s 133 Canadian locations.
 
Gordon Brothers Group, Hilco Global and Great American Group were the successful bidders at a Jan. 27 auction and secured approval from Target Canada and an order from a Canadian court to manage the store closing process for Target’s 133 Canadian locations.
 
"The appointment of Gordon Brothers Group, Hilco Global and Great American Group is an important step in Target Canada's pursuit of a fair and orderly wind down under the CCAA (Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act) process. Our team members have been working incredibly hard to prepare and our guests are eagerly awaiting the upcoming sales," said Aaron Alt, CEO of Target Canada.
 
In addition to merchandise sales, Target is offering other retailers the opportunity to capitalize on its ill-fated decision to enter the market by selling select fixtures, furnishings and equipment in the stores and distribution centers.
 
"This is a tremendous opportunity for consumers to take advantage of truly compelling discounts on a spectacular assortment of products. We encourage consumers to shop early to take advantage of the best selection of products and great savings available throughout the stores,” according to a statement attributed to an unidentified spokesman for the liquidation consortium.

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CVS Health: Smoking cessation counseling at CVS, MinuteClinic helping thousands of patients

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — On the one-year anniversary of its decision to stop tobacco sales, CVS Health released new data showing that its messages about the importance of quitting smoking for good is resonating, and that its smoking cessation program is providing personalized counseling and smoking cessation products, when appropriate, to hundreds of thousands more.
 
This outreach reflects CVS Health's commitment to helping people on their path to better health by becoming tobacco-free.

"One year ago, we knew that removing cigarettes and tobacco products from our stores would not be enough on its own to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our customers and patients who smoke," stated Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS Health. "We believe our combined efforts of eliminating pharmacy-associated access to tobacco products and a devoted smoking cessation program through our channels will help our patients on their path to better health."

CVS Health's smoking cessation program combines the elements that are the most effective smoking cessation components: an assessment of the smoker's readiness to quit, medication support and coaching and education. 
"The combination of medication and coaching is powerful and can nearly double quit rates," Brennan added.  "Our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners are playing a key role in helping us implement this program."

From the smoking cessation program launch on Sept. 3, 2014, through December 2014, CVS pharmacists counseled more than 67,000 patients filling a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or prescription nicotine replacement therapy and consulted with thousands more smokers seeking advice about OTC nicotine replacement therapy products. Prescriptions for smoking cessation medications have increased by 63% on a monthly basis in the timeframe and visits to MinuteClinic for smoking cessation counseling were up 61% compared with the prior eight months.

CVS/pharmacy also offered ready access to OTC nicotine replacement therapy products that assist smokers trying to quit.  Purchases of these products increased 21% in September through December over the previous four months. In addition, customers picked up 2.3 million tobacco cessation brochures at CVS/pharmacy and thousands of "Last Pack" encouragement toolkits, reaching millions of additional smokers with education, information and support.

Smokers also sought out quitting support through a Smoking Cessation Hub on cvs.com, which neared one million visits through December. Approximately 25,000 smokers completed Nicotine Dependency Quizzes during these website visits and more than 2,500 of them followed up with calls to a smoking quit line operated by the American Cancer Society for additional support and access to services in local communities.

"The hard work of quitting smoking is worth it because there are many health benefits," stated Helena Foulkes, president of CVS/pharmacy. "Approximately 7-in-10 smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year. But challenges still exist, including the fact that fewer than half of smokers report being advised to stop smoking.  Through our continuing efforts we hope to change that."

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